Thank you to the close to 70 volunteers who came out to help for Park Serve Day 2016! It is a state-wide event where the DCR works with local partners–like us!–to prep the parks for the season and to help take care of our lands, and we’re thankful so many of you came to assist. Even Governor Baker helped at our sister park Breakheart! A group at another neighbor park, Harold Parker, worked to prep to reopen Berry Pond Beach for the first time in nearly a decade.
We got so much done here in the Fells, too. Next weekend is Mother’s Day. Your mom is going to have to wait a few days. Fells volunteers gave a big present to Mother Earth this weekend with their nearly 200 hours of focus and effort (not counting prep days).
We had two main projects. About half the volunteers worked on starting to remove the Glossy Buckthorn invasive tree from around Spot Pond. This act of habitat restoration removes aggressive non-native species and allows our native species room to flourish.
Groups including the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and Beverly High School National Honor Society joined forces with individual volunteers, DCR rangers, and Friends of the Fells leaders, including Laurie, Dennis, Diana, Jeff, and Neil,and got much accomplished. People find it extra satisfying when their work has an immediate visual and environmental impact, and this particular project had been on our joint wish lists for a while. Thanks, everyone!
The other half of the volunteers home-based out of Flynn Rink and focused on trash clean-up. Long-term Fells leaders were there to help, too, including Karen Johnson and also Linda Schwetz, our Hike-n-Carry guru. Although we met at Flynn, groups spread out, and made it as far as North Reservoir in one direction and Greenwood Park in the other, where they also checked to make sure the Storybook Walk was in fine form for its last few days being featured.
In addition to carrying out bags and bags of trash, volunteers wrangled with large items, as well, including the commonly found car tires and hubcaps, five gallon water and gas containers, an old computer, and, er…what appeared to be the former eave of a house. We also found broken hockey sticks in the woods. Celebrants or sore losers? May we suggest you upcycle your broken sticks in a way such as this, and then check with us on how you may be able to have your bench installed in the park? That’s a much better approach to just tossing them out there ;).
Inspired? We generally offer two major drop-in field service events a year. Stay tuned for news about our National Public Lands Day event in the fall. We also help support many other smaller events and field trips throughout the year. Medford Girl Scouts just wrote a nice post about various ways we can work together, and that applies to all sorts of community groups, not just scouts.
Did you participate this weekend, at the Fells or another state park? Feel free to share photos or stories in the comments or on our Facebook feed. Were you involved in any other projects during Earth Week? We’d love to hear!